Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
Fup continues, "When my uncle looked under the shed, he recognized the freezing
cat as Bruno, the youngest of three brothers who had been stealing chickens and
otherwise driving their household crazy for years. My mother hunched at the edge
of the shed. Bruno hissed when the two appeared.
"Maybe Bruno wasn't so cold and sick as he'd seemed or maybe he was just
Fup tells the residents of the pet store, "but before Penny knew what was
my uncle had led her back to the house. That was that, apparently. Their
neighbor would have to make it home on his own.
"He only lived on the land bordering ours, Penny's brother insisted; he could
get home if he needed help. But Penny had already thought of that. What she
wanted to know, and yet somehow didn't want to know, was: why hadn't Bruno gone
home already? Why had he parked himself under the shed?"
One of Cesar's nieces interrupts: "Fup, most of these kids have never seen
snow or ice. Maybe you could back up a little and explain."
So Fup tells them all about winters in Maine: wet, heavy snow and dangerous
freezing rain; the long succession of days staring out at the snowed-over laketop,
the woods all around gone absolutely still no birdsong or squirrel chatter
for months, and after a storm sometimes no tracks in the fresh snow for days
except the boots of locals who each morning cut holes in the ice and pull fish
out of the water with wire.
The young fish shudder in their tanks.
"My mother told me once, 'Fup, I waited months for the thaw, wondering if
Bruno had survived.'"
Up at the front of the pet store the security gate begins to slide open along
its track. "Oh dear," Cesar's younger niece mumbles, "the cleaning service is
The older niece shouts, "Everyone back to your cages and cubicles! Back to
your cages and cubicles!"
That Cat That Changed My Life: 50 Cats Talk About How They Became Who They Are
by Bruce Eric Kaplan
"All these cats lead exciting and varied lives wholly independent of the human
race," notes the editor in his Introduction. Well, duh. Scant attention has
been paid to the role of community in modern cat culture, so what a relief that
here, finally, fifty articulate felines set the record straight. Funny, sad,
occasionally shocking, but never less than true, these brave monologues
reaffirm our interdependency in ways that choreographed public displays such as
Paws Across America never can.
Poems by Writers' Dogs
by Amy Hempel
In "Dog Kibble," Tasha Baxter's verse exhibits a brutal economy of
words: "Life is never meaningless," her villanelle announces, "there is
always food." Here and throughout this collection these authors demand
your attention, as if to bark, "You can send me to my room for yelling
at the neighbors but you cannot silence what woofs in my heart!" Among
the selections nominated for Best
American Writing by Pets 2000 are Bob Barker Barry's sordid and hilarious
hallucinogenic escapades with Lynda; a tragic, posthumous prose poem by
Marrow Irving; and Sadie Louise Lamott's "Spoon River Sadie Louise," a
wildly metered exploration of the cross-cultural dynamics within a
household occupied by dogs, cats, birds, and small children. The sheer
intellect of these collected pieces will renew your faith in dogs.
Is Your Cat Too Fat?
by Bronwen Meredith
Too fat for what? And what business is it of this Meredith person's
anyway? Bronwen sounds like the kind of lady I wouldn't like at all.